When to rebrand

So you have a business.

And that business is doing okaaaay, but not really as awesome as you would like it to be. And - le sigh - every time you look at your website or business card you feel something just 'isn't right'.

Sooooo.... is it time for a rebrand?

Well, let's first define rebrand. A rebrand is creating an entirely new look for your business, with new messaging as well. This includes a new logo, graphics, website, photography, copy, and a fab new marketing strategy. It can be a Big. Effing. Deal.

Meanwhile, you can also do a refresh.

A refresh is a term used in the design/marketing industry to basically say 'Ya, we are going to update things, but it won't be totally, totally different.' It is like keeping the bones of an old house but replastering the walls and adding modern furniture. A refresh typically involves refining typography or changing a font, modifying colours, and/or updating photography. The brand maintains the same core feel, but it is updated to reflect current trends and styles. 

The need to rebrand or refresh is often real, but I write this post to warn you of one very key business secret:

No matter how amazing the branding, it will not save a crappy business from eventually tanking.

At the end of the day, in order to succeed, you have to have a killer product or offer something truly needed and loved by others.

This is why some multi-million dollar companies have 'meh' branding and thrive (think Costco - I mean, that logo is hideous but definitely legible!). While I do believe you absolutely need awesome branding to reach full potential, you can actually coast for a while with mediocre branding IF your business offers an incredible product, is reaching millions of customers AND resonates with your ideal client.

To help you decide if the time has come for you to rebrand, here is when I think yes, you SHOULD rebrand.

  • You have changed the focus of your business completely. For example, you have a makeup line that is all natural and vegan. Previously you marketed to baby boomers who wanted an all-natural look, but now you see an opportunity to capture the millennial market which is all about saving the planet. Totally different marketing is needed.

  • You are getting consistent feedback from customers that they couldn't find you online, or didn't know that you sold (fill in the blank). If customers are confused or not interested, that is a red flag.

  • Your logo is dated and illegible. I got no time for ugly and neither should you.

  • You have changed your company name.

  • You have proof that people love your product or service, but they are not buying. This could also be a pricing issue, or simply your mindset as an entrepreneur. This one is't black and white.

And here is when I think you SHOULD NOT rebrand:

  • You are bored with your business. Sorry, not a good enough reason. I got bored of looking at my own branding two months into this new business venture but too bad - suck it up, buttercup. Consistency is key to developing a successful brand so you have to keep going with it and learn to love it for a long, long time.

  • Your cousin Vinnie says it is not cool. Cousin Vinnie can get back in his rusty Ford Taurus and head home. Pronto.

  • You have already rebranded multiple times in the last couple years, and you are not seeing a change in your bottom line or your personal confidence. This is a sign there is a MUCH bigger problem lurking beneath the surface of a shiny new logo. This level of indecisiveness and flip-flopping is fatal. Chances are you business doesn't need a rebrand, you need to regroup.

I hope this gives you some golden nuggets to consider. I always have to ask clients WHY they feel driven to make a change in their business. Is there evidence and proof that it is needed? Are customers complaining? What does your gut say? While there is so much to consider, remember that whether you choose to rebrand, refresh or stay exactly as you are, there are always people out there to make the process easier AND help you become the million dollar brand you know you are.

To your brave success,

PS :: If you are thinking of a rebrand, be sure to read my FREE ebook 8 Tips for Hiring a Designer You Love - available for instant download!